What's Happening in the World

Crime and Punishment?

cuffs

We are supposedly living in a time that is highly progressive, modern, and equal, but is it really? This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a retreat where the topic was Crime and Punishment. We discussed things like what constitutes crime and punishment. We also touched upon the subjects of racial profiling, sexual assault, hate speech, and thats just to name a few. The topic that stuck out most to me was the Prison system. Did you know there are more prisons in the United States than universities? That statistic is blasphemous to me. 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the USA and that is the highest amount world wide. America is supposed to be the land of chance and new beginnings, but I don’t know how accurate that statement is at this point in society. With this statistic, it is obvious that there are several innocent beings currently in prison. Furthermore, the prison system prides itself on rehabilitating criminals and that doesn’t seem to be what is actually occurring. Many times, being in prison is like being in a time vault; the prisoners go in and aren’t evolving and changing with the world so once they come out they have trouble readjusting to society. On top of that many petty criminals are released and then punished again by society. It is then hard for them to find jobs. They haven’t been taught much in prison so they go back to doing the same thing that caused them to go to prison in the first place. I will also acknowledge that there are some people who belong in prison, but there is also a large group that doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, we have a better judicial system than many other countries, but 2.2 million people, really? The system needs to be reformed and re-vamped. Instead of trying to criminalize and only punish people, there needs to be genuine rehabilitation in the prison system. The prison system has become a million dollar industry; all this money is just going into housing prisoners. Instead they should make an effort to educate these criminals and counsel them and guide them on how to live a better life. Not all prisoners are a lost cause. I can almost guarantee that many of them want to change, but they are never given the opportunity to.

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